Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.


"The best doctors in the world are Doctor Diet, Doctor Quiet, and Dr. Merryman." - Jonathan Swift, pen names, M.B. Drapier, Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff

"When some one sorrow, that is yet reparable, gets hold of your mind like a monomania, when you think, because Heaven has denied you this or that on which you had set your heart, that all your life must be a blank, oh, then diet yourself well on biography - the biography of good and great men." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, fully Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton

"Gluttony is the source of all our infirmities and the fountain of all our diseases. As a lamp is choked by a superabundance of oil, and a fire extinguished by excess of fuel, so is the natural health of the body destroyed by intemperate diet." - Marion LeRoy Burton

"Diet cures more than doctors." - Harry Cheales, fully Canon Harry Cheales

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease." -

"A physician restricts the diet of only those patients whom he expects to recover. So God prescribed dietary laws for those who have hope of a future life. Others may eat anything." - Tanhum ben Hanilai

"If a man builds a better mousetrap than his neighbor, the world will not only beat a path to his door, it will make newsreels of him and his wife in beach pajamas, it will discuss his diet and his health, it will publish heart-throb stories of his love life." - Newman Levy

"Those two great medicines: Diet and Self-Control." - Max Bircher-Benner, fully Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Benner

"The vast majority… of all cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and other forms of degenerative illness can be prevented… simply by adopting a plant-based diet." - T. Colin Campbell

"The medical establishment, focusing on pathology and chemical treatment by drugs, has long equated diet with what’s put on hospital trays. Even today, when five of America’s major health problems – heart, liver, cancer, diabetes and cerebrovascular diseases – have been proved to be related to diet, just 23 percent of American medical schools require a course in nutrition, and many offer none." - Betty Fussell

"Perhaps when we know more we shall be able to say that the best sexual ethic will be quite different in one climate from what it would be in another, different again with one kind of diet than from what it would be with another." - Bertrand Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

"Gluttony is the source of all our infirmities, and the fountain of all our diseases. As a lamp is choked by a superabundance of oil, a fire extinguished by excess of fuel, so is the natural health of the body destroyed by intemperate diet." - Edmund Burke

"One may derive information from the regimen of persons in good health what things are proper; for if it appear that there is a great difference whether the diet be so and so, in other respects, but more especially in the changes, how can it be otherwise in diseases, and more especially in the acute? But it is well ascertained that even a faulty diet of food and drink steadily persevered in, is safer in the main as regards health than if one suddenly change to another." - Hippocrates, fully known as Hippocrates of Cos or Hippokrates of Kos NULL

"Disease and health, like circumstances, are rooted in thought... The people who live in fear of disease are the people who get it... Change of diet will not help a man who will not change his thoughts. When a man makes his thoughts pure, he no longer desires impure food... Clean thoughts make clean habits." -

"Nature delights in the most plain and simple diet. Every animal but man, keeps to one dish." - Joseph Addison

"Tears are a good alternative, but a poor diet." - Josh Billings, pen name for Henry Wheeler Shaw, aka Uncle Esek

"No matter what his present state, man can change for the better through self-control, discipline, and following proper diet and health laws. Why do you think you cannot change? Mental laziness is the secret cause of all weakness." - Paramahansa Yogananda, born Mukunda Lal Ghosh

"Now, we shall be able to judge the extent of the spiritual undernourishment if we look at all these movements from another angle: not as errors but rather as attempts to find healing. I use this comparison: For a long time medical men combated fever as if it itself constituted the illness. Medicine today inclines rather to respect it, not only as a symptom of the disease but of the struggle of the organism against the disease. True, it is this struggle which makes it ill, and yet this very struggle is also the proof of its vitality and is the necessary way to healing." - Paul Tournier

"Most illnesses do not, as is generally thought, come like a bolt out of the blue. The ground is prepared for years, through faulty diet, intemperance, overwork, and moral conflicts, slowly eroding the subject’s vitality. And when at last the illness suddenly shows itself, it would be a most superficial medicine which treated it without going back to its remote causes, to all that I call “personal problems.” There are personal problems in every life. There are secret tragedies in every heart. “Man does not die,” a doctor has remarked. “He kills himself”... Every act of physical, psychological, or moral disobedience of God’s purpose is an act of wrong living and has its inevitable consequences." - Paul Tournier

"Disease and health, like circumstances, are rooted in thought... The people who live in fear of disease are the people who get it... Change of diet will not help a man who will not change his thoughts. When a man makes his thoughts pure, he no longer desires impure food... Clean thoughts make clean habits." - James Allen

"In the information age, the barriers [to entry into programming] just aren't there. The barriers are self imposed. If you want to set off and go develop some grand new thing, you don't need millions of dollars of capitalization. You need enough pizza and Diet Coke to stick in your refrigerator, a cheap PC to work on, and the dedication to go through with it. We slept on floors. We waded across rivers." - John Carmack, fully John D. Carmack II

"There is no such thing as educational value in the abstract. The notion that some subjects and methods and that acquaintance with certain facts and truths possess educational value in and of themselves is the reason why traditional education reduced the material of education so largely to a diet of predigested materials." - John Dewey

"No disease that can be treated by diet should be treated with any other means." - Maimonides, given name Moses ben Maimon or Moshe ben Maimon, known as "Rambam" NULL

"We are concerned that all people have enough to eat. This concern motivated both of us to become vegetarians years ago. We learned from Frances Moore Lappé's book, Diet for A Small Planet, that animals are an extremely wasteful source of protein: more food would be available for everyone if people ate much less meat. The increasing production of nonessential foods for export from many Third World countries also contributes to the lack of basic foods for their inhabitants, so we try to avoid specialty items such as coffee and summer fruits out of season." - Rabbi Nahum Ward and Shelley Mann

"We are concerned not only with how animals are slaughtered, but also how they are raised. Animals are often treated as commodities, to be "manufactured" as efficiently as possible for maximum profit. The resulting "factory farms" are appalling places, filled with unspeakable suffering. Upon reading John Robbins' description of them in Diet for A New America, we decided to avoid all animal products that have not been raised humanely and respectfully." - Rabbi Nahum Ward and Shelley Mann

"The yogi should distill from his diet life-force and energy, not sickness! He should also derive energy from the sun, by exposing his body in its rays to absorb pure oxygen, which is carbon-and-toxin destroying; and by practicing deep inhalations and exhalations." - Paramahansa Yogananda, born Mukunda Lal Ghosh

"Why should we tolerate a diet of weak poisons, a home in insipid surroundings, a circle of acquaintances who are not quite our enemies, the noise of motors with just enough relief to prevent insanity? Who would want to live in a world which is just not quite fatal?" - Rachel Carson, fully Rachel Louise Carson

"Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers." - Ray Bradbury, fully Ray Douglas Bradbury

"Do not suppose, however, that I intend to urge a diet of classics on anybody. I have seen such diets at work. I have known people who have actually read all, or almost all, the guaranteed Hundred Best Books. God save us from reading nothing but the best." - Robertson Davies

"LOVE'S SERVILE LOT - LOVE, mistress is of many minds, Yet few know whom they serve ; They reckon least how little Love Their service doth deserve. The will she robbeth from the wit, The sense from reason's lore ; She is delightful in the rind, Corrupted in the core. She shroudeth vice in virtue's veil, Pretending good in ill ; She offereth joy, affordeth grief, A kiss where she doth kill. A honey-shower rains from her lips, Sweet lights shine in her face ; She hath the blush of virgin mind, The mind of viper's race. She makes thee seek, yet fear to find To find, but not enjoy : In many frowns some gliding smiles She yields to more annoy. She woos thee to come near her fire, Yet doth she draw it from thee ; Far off she makes thy heart to fry, And yet to freeze within thee. She letteth fall some luring baits For fools to gather up ; Too sweet, too sour, to every taste She tempereth her cup. Soft souls she binds in tender twist, Small flies in spinner's web ; She sets afloat some luring streams, But makes them soon to ebb. Her watery eyes have burning force ; Her floods and flames conspire : Tears kindle sparks, sobs fuel are, And sighs do blow her fire. May never was the month of love, For May is full of flowers ; But rather April, wet by kind, For love is full of showers. Like tyrant, cruel wounds she gives, Like surgeon, salve she lends ; But salve and sore have equal force, For death is both their ends. With soothing words enthralled souls She chains in servile bands ; Her eye in silence hath a speech Which eye best understands. Her little sweet hath many sours, Short hap immortal harms ; Her loving looks are murd'ring darts, Her song bewitching charms. Like winter rose and summer ice, Her joys are still untimely ; Before her Hope, behind Remorse : Fair first, in fine unseemly. Moods, passions, fancy's jealous fits Attend upon her train : She yieldeth rest without repose, And heaven in hellish pain. Her house is Sloth, her door Deceit, And slippery Hope her stairs ; Unbashful Boldness bids her guests, And every vice repairs. Her diet is of such delights As please till they be past ; But then the poison kills the heart That did entice the taste. Her sleep in sin doth end in wrath, Remorse rings her awake ; Death calls her up, Shame drives her out, Despairs her upshot make. Plough not the seas, sow not the sands, Leave off your idle pain ; Seek other mistress for your minds, Love's service is in vain." - Robert Southwell, also Saint Robert Southwell

"Fasting is the change of every part of our life, because the sacrifice of the fast is not the abstinence but the distancing from sins. Therefore, whoever limits the fast to the deprivation of food, he is the one who, in reality, abhors and ridicules the fast. Are you fasting? Show me your fast with your works. Which works? If you see someone who is poor, show him mercy. If you see an enemy, reconcile with him. If you see a friend who is becoming successful, do not be jealous of him! If you see a beautiful woman on the street, pass her by. In other words, not only should the mouth fast, but the eyes and the legs and the arms and all the other parts of the body should fast as well. Let the hands fast, remaining clean from stealing and greediness. Let the legs fast, avoiding roads which lead to sinful sights. Let the eyes fast by not fixing themselves on beautiful faces and by not observing the beauty of others. You are not eating meat, are you? You should not eat debauchery with your eyes as well. Let your hearing also fast. The fast of hearing is not to accept bad talk against others and sly defamations." - John Chrysostom, fully Saint John Chrysostom

"Some men, in truth, live that they may eat, as the irrational creatures, “whose life is their belly, and nothing else.” But the Instructor enjoins us to eat that we may live. For neither is food our business, nor is pleasure our aim; but both are on account of our life here, which the Word is training up to immortality. Wherefore also there is discrimination to be employed in reference to food. And it is to be simple, truly plain, suiting precisely simple and artless children—as ministering to life, not to luxury. And the life to which it conduces consists of two things—health and strength; to which plainness of fare is most suitable, being conducive both to digestion and lightness of body, from which come growth, and health, and right strength, not strength that is wrong or dangerous and wretched, as is that of athletes produced by compulsory feeding. We must therefore reject different varieties, which engender various mischiefs, such as a depraved habit of body and disorders of the stomach, the taste being vitiated by an unhappy art—that of cookery, and the useless art of making pastry. For people dare to call by the name of food their dabbling in luxuries, which glides into mischievous pleasures. Antiphanes, the Delian physician, said that this variety of viands was the one cause of disease; there being people who dislike the truth, and through various absurd notions abjure moderation of diet, and put themselves to a world of trouble to procure dainties from beyond seas." - Clement of Alexandria, originally Titus Flavius Clemens NULL

"I would not choose to live in any age but my own; advances in medicine alone, and the consequent survival of children with access to these benefits, should preclude any temptation to trade for the past. But we cannot understand history if we saddle the past with pejorative categories based on our bad habits for dividing continua into compartments of increasing worth towards the present. These errors apply to the vast paleontological history of life, as much as to the temporally trivial chronicle of human beings. I cringe every time I read that this failed business, or that defeated team, has become a dinosaur is succumbing to progress. Dinosaur should be a term of praise, not opprobrium. Dinosaurs reigned for more than 100 million years and died through no fault of their own; Homo sapiens is nowhere near a million years old, and has limited prospects, entirely self-imposed, for extended geological longevity." - Stephan Jay Gould

"Be aware of the contact between your feet and the Earth. Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet. We have caused a lot of damage to the Earth. Now it is time for us to take good care of her. We bring our peace and calm to the surface of the Earth and share the lesson of love. We walk in that spirit." - Thich Nhất Hanh

"The efforts of certain Christian factions to cast themselves as the inheritors of America's Judaeo-Christian tradition find little support in the embarrassing heterodoxy of this Founding Father: But the greatest of all reformers of the depraved religion of his own country was Jesus of Nazareth. Abstracting what is really his from the rubbish in which it is buried, easily distinguished by its lustre from the dross of his biographers, and as separable as the diamond from the dunghill, we have the outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man; outlines which it is lamentable he did not live to fill up. . . . The establishment of the innocent and genuine character of this benevolent moralist, and the rescuing it from the imputation of imposture, which has resulted from artificial systems, invented by ultra-Christian sects, unauthorized by a single word ever uttered by him, is a most desirable object." - Thomas Jefferson

"I've never hit a woman in my life. Not even my own mother." - W. C. Fields, stage name for William Claude Dukenfield

"In looking back, with our present experience, we are driven to the melancholy conclusion that, instead of diminishing the number of wars, ecclesiastical influence has actually and very seriously increased it. We may look in vain for any period since Constantine, in which the clergy, as a body, exerted themselves to repress the military spirit, or to prevent or abridge a particular war, with an energy at all comparable to that which they displayed in stimulating the fanaticism of the crusaders, in producing the atrocious massacre of the Albigenses, in embittering the religious contests that followed the Reformation." - W. E. H. Lecky, fully William Edward Hartpole Lecky

"Dhyan is not an activity but a state of being, a dimension of being. It is a state of motionlessness where the ego is dissolved and you have let it be dissolved, where there is no experiencing but only a state of non-knowing, non-doing. Some have described it as the dark night of the soul. There is no tension at all in this state; the space within is being activated. It is a very delicate state that has to be looked after. You need to be alone then and need time to adjust to it." - Vimala Thakar

"A dogma is a dark chamber." - Victor Hugo

"We should make efforts to acquire right knowledge and refrain from violence." - Atharva Veda, or Atharvaveda

"Now sit we close about this taper here, and call in question our necessities." -

"Nothing was better for you than humiliation, for there was nothing you felt more deeply." - Elias Canetti

"Embrace truth as it is revealed to-day by human reason." - Elizabeth Cady Stanton

"A friend never defends a husband who gets his wife an electric skillet for her birthday." - Erma Bombeck, fully Erma Louise Bombeck, born Erma Fiste

"I've decided life is too fragile to finish a book I dislike just because it cost $16.95 and everyone else loved it. Or eat a fried egg with a broken yolk (which I hate) when the dog would leap over the St. Louis Arch for it." - Erma Bombeck, fully Erma Louise Bombeck, born Erma Fiste

"Some men make difficulties and difficulties make some men." - Evan Esar